The CS:GO competitive scene travels to Berlin this Friday, August 23 for the second Major Championship of the season. We will once again get to witness world's biggest CS:GO talents from all over the globe fight it out for a chance to win the title and walk away with the largest slice of $1 million prize pool.
StarLadder Berlin Major will mark the first time in history CS:GO Major championship visits the German capital and the first time in over three years that it returns back to Germany. While the destination of CS:GO Majors changes each year, the format of the Championship has and will remain the same as what we saw in the last two Majors.
The tournament will be split into three parts; New Challengers Stage, New Legends Stage and New Champions Stage.
New Challengers Stage will serve as a group stage for 16 teams, who will have to prove their worth by finishing top eight, thus earning their spot in the New Legends Stage.
The New Challengers Stage will feature 16 team Swiss System format, where all the round one pairs will get seeded based on teams HLTV's World Rankings. Following the first round matches, the stage will continue into four more rounds, by the end of which the top eight teams proceed into the Challengers series, whereas bottom eight get eliminated from the tournament. The New Legends Stage or the second stage of the tournament will continue using the same format as the New Challengers, meaning top eight teams earn their spot in the final stage, whereas bottom eight get eliminated.
The third and final stage of the tournament, the New Champions Stage will kick off on Thursday, September 5 and conclude on Sunday, September 8 with the grand finals.
Unlike the previous two stages which will serve like a group stage, the New Champions Stage will use the playoffs format, meaning we will see teams compete in a single-elimination bracket. Best of three (Bo3) matches will be used for both quarter-finals and semi-finals, whereas best of five (Bo5) will be used for the grand finals. The pairs of teams for the quarter-finals will be determined based on Swiss scores and final ELO ratings of the New Legends stage, meaning teams will have to be on top of their game throughout the whole tournament, which will put to the test their skill, consistency as well as stamina.
Marking the 15th Major in the history, StarLadder Berlin Major promises to be the most exciting and the most anticipated Major up to date. A lot will be put on the line in Berlin, which especially holds true for Astralis, who could become the first team in history to win three Majors in a row. But will the Danish giants wake up from their slumber and deliver, or will StarLadder Berlin Major officially mark the end of "Astralis era"?
When it comes to calling out an outright champion of the StarLadder Berlin Major, there are only four teams that stand out of the rest, as the only four who have shown us, they have what's needed to win a Major tournament.
Starting with rank two team in the world, Team Vitality ($7.90 at Skrilla), who are currently the fourth favourite to walk away victorious in Berlin. The French powerhouse has seen significant improvement this year, climbing from #43 up to the top four, where they remained since the start of June, when they won ECS Season 7 Finals. Since then, Nathan "NBK-"Schmitt and his squad finished second at ESL One Cologne 2019 and won a bronze medal at IEM Chicago 2019 in late July. They have proven to be a very solid team, yet Vitality always finished behind Team Liquid, who defeated them in both IEM Chicago and ESL One Cologne.
NaVi will enter the Major as the third favourites ($5.70 at Skrilla) to win the Major, which is more than fair, considering the CIS giants finished third at IEM Katowice where they played incredibly well. While a team who produced remarkable results, they, just like Vitality, struggle when facing Team Liquid, who knocked them out in both BLAST Pro Series Miami as well as in Cologne.
Despite questionable form and mediocre results, Astralis are still the second-favourites ($3.55 at Skrilla) to emerge champions in Berlin. The Danish powerhouse and formerly known as the most dominant team in the CS:GO competitive scene, have fallen on hard ground as of late and now look like a shadow of their former self. Nonetheless, they still have a solid team of exceptional individuals who can boast with two consecutive Major titles. Meaning Astralis are on the verge of achieving history, as the only team to win three majors in a row and four majors overall. While only a step away from a historic moment, all the spotlight will be on Team Liquid, who deservingly sit at the top of World ranking.
The NA powerhouse showcased remarkable form at IEM Chicago, where they looked unstoppable and to be completely honest, they were, considering Team Liquid have not lost a single match throughout the tournament. It's hard to argue Team Liquid are the strongest team as of now, which they showcased time and time again. They have it all, the quality, discipline and results to back them up. And while we must not sleep on teams such as Vitality or even Astralis, when push comes to shove, we will trust Team Liquid to continue weir legacy and win the major.
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